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Live Large Locally, on Small Business Saturday

Support LGBT Small Businesses

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Size matters — and when it comes to shopping local, small is the preference we can all agree on.

So plan now to rock the mom-and-pop look, by saving some of your Black Friday energy, and bucks, for the day after. That’s when many of West Hollywood’s trove of retailers and restaurants will be offering a slew of treasures. Think discounts, free products, giveaways, gift cards, delicious food samples, and more.

November 24’s Small Business Saturday isn’t just a way to feel good about supporting the neighborhood merchants who rescue us from poorly decorated box stores and cookie cutter corporate brands. It’s a way to check a multitude of boxes off your holiday shopping list, while helping the community you’ve shown up to support spread that love in a very tangible way.

Here’s how that happens: Many of the businesses participating in Small Business Saturday will be giving a portion of their proceeds to a worthy cause, noted Genevieve Morrill, President and CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (WHCC). In years past, that amount has passed the 20k mark, benefitting recipients such as the Foundation for The AIDS Monument. This year, donations will be made to the City of West Hollywood Homeless Initiative, which, the Chamber notes, “seeks to effectively address homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response,’ by targeting “the problems of homeless LGBTQ youth, as well as homelessness generally.”

Along with the WHCC and the City of West Hollywood, American Express is on board for the Nov. 24 event, having chosen WeHo as a city of focus. So while you might see a variety of logos on signage, what it really means, for you, is celebrity sightings and sweet, sweet swag. Visit wehochamber.com/shopsmall for a full list of participating stores. Here’s a primer to get you started.

At 1:00 PM, at Fred Segal Sunset (8500 Sunset Blvd.), “Criminal Minds” star Kirsten Vangsness will be sharing holiday gifting ideas. Segal will gift shoppers with cloth tote bags, beauty samples, coffee, and espressos, Other stores on site will also be providing enticing incentives. Fred Segal CEO Allie Samek gave us the scoop on two items that calmed us down, during a pre-Thanksgiving, “What do I give to the hard-to-shop-for?” tizzy. Priced at $480, the 100 percent cashmere sweater is an exclusive item, from the Hartel (men’s store) label. “This is for your fashionable guy,” Samek said. “It’s not too boxy, and not too short — with a slim fit. It’s the best cashmere sweater you’ve ever seen.”

No need to bother Samek with proof of that claim. Send a picture of your fashionable self or significant other, wearing the sweater, and whatever else (if anything else) they’re modeling, to the publisher and editor of this fine publication: [email protected]. Disclaimer: All photos are fodder for his “tasteful is in the eye of the beholder” holiday card. If you and/or Mr. Masters are all hot and bothered by viewing that cashmere pin-up pix, Samek has the perfect treatment: Refresh with a sip or two of cool, clear, H2O. The Boss Babe Crystal Water Bottle ($160) can be found in the Tesoro gift store. Within its casing are 24-karat gold flakes and citrine stone (whose very proximity to the water, Samek playfully said, “manifests abundance, and will amplify everything you desire.”). And if that claim stops short of manifesting a winning lottery ticket, at least you’ll be properly hydrated.

Elsewhere in WeHo, at NARS (8412 Melrose Ave.), enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne and a Focus Feature demo with a boutique artist, and then walk away with giveaways, including travel-size products and full-size lip products. The Barber Surgeons Guild (805 Larrabee St.) is offering special prices for grooming and clinical services throughout the day. Call 310-975-7094 for details, and to schedule an appointment. Do drop by IV Drip Doctors Vitamin Therapy & Regenerative Center (8489 Sunset Blvd.), but don’t tell them to “just open a vein” — at least when it comes to claiming your energy-boosting booty. That will require prep time to administer. So take away a free, B12 IV gift card and return another day to experience this unique form of vitamin therapy.

 

Food, of course, is always bragging about its status as an iconic, old school energy delivery method. Small Business Saturday swag gives you a good excuse to pay your respects, by stopping by Yogurt Stop (8803 Santa Monica Blvd.), for 10 percent off. At Le Pain Quotidien (8607 Melrose Ave), scoop up free samples of cider and pumpkin muffins; and, at Cafe D’Etoile (8941 ½ Santa Monica Boulevard), you’ll get a complimentary, house-made, individual-size key lime pie. At 4:00 PM, at Tom Tom Restaurant & Bar (8932 Santa Monica Blvd.), Lisa Vanderpump hosts an open house, where mixers and minglers can sip a signature cocktail made just for the event.

In the midst of shopping for others, and feeding yourself, take some time to take care of the body beautiful. Unplug Meditation (8500 Melrose Ave., Suite 201) will give you 20 percent off their $35 introductory offer, which allows you to take an unlimited number of classes, for two weeks. They’re also offering 20 percent off 5, 10, and 20-class packages. LYMBR (603 North West Knoll Drive) makes it easy to shake loose your purse strings, by providing $20 off a stretch session.

From 2017’s Shop Small Saturday: Bruce Vilanch, at Capitol Drugs and Power Zone. This year’s celebrity participants include Lisa Vanderpump and Kirsten Vangsness. (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of WHCC)

In addition to salivating over anticipating the above savings and swag, we spoke with the men behind two of Saturday’s participating businesses, to find out what makes their product tick, and why they feel a special connection to West Hollywood.

JustFoodForDogs

Men can be real dogs. But when it comes to the four-legged variety, that’s a high compliment. As such, we want only the best for them: beef, chicken, rice, lamb, venison, and potatoes of the sweet and russet variety — and no gluten or preservatives. Sounds like your own dinner menu? That’s the point, says JustFoodForDogs founder Shawn Buckley.

“Everybody wants to buy local, and it doesn’t get any more local than 20 feet away,” noted Buckley, of the WeHo branch, which houses a kitchen where good stuff for good doggies is dished up daily, every day of the year. “It’s not like a show, where we act like we’re making it,” Buckley said of the kitchen. “We’re open to the public from 10 to 8, but we’re in there from around 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM.”

The WeHo branch is the second of what now numbers over 70. “We are thrilled to be there,” Buckley boasted. “It helped us launch our business, and it’s a hugely successful location for us. There are certain neighborhoods that are just incredibly dog-friendly, and this is one of them. West Hollywood helped us prove the concept.”

The JustFoodForDogs concept is a simple one, based on a new trick Buckley brought to an old industry. “When I found out what was allowed to be in dog food,” he recalled,” I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m feeding my dogs that.’ It’s not just gross, it’s unhealthy.” Typical supermarket chow, no matter how high the quality, he noted, “is from the Midwest. We use a Los Angeles-based company that sells us produce and protein. West Coast Prime Meats sells us chicken, fish, beef, and lamb that’s all human-grade. We’re the only deliver they make that is not a restaurant, theme park, or hotel.” — giving credence to their motto, “It is food for dogs… not dog food!”

Small Business Saturday pet parents can see for themselves on Nov. 24. Right in time for holiday party hosting season, the WeHo location will be offering free cooking lessons, to lean how to make safe, organic, healthy treats for your pets. Emmy-winning NBC4 anchor and reporter Robert Kovacik (Woof!) will also be appearing at the store, at 2:30 PM, to cook up gourmet food recipes with the store’s chef.

Your hyperlocal JustFoodForDogs destination is 7870 Santa Monica Blvd. (corner of Fairfax). Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Sun., 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Call 323-471-4242 or visit justfoodfordogs.com.

Rounderbum

Yes, it’s true: The holidays can leave some of us feeling as if we lack support; that nobody in the world has our back. But what about those of us who go through the whole year feeling as if the whole world can see we have no backside? To the rescue is “Shark Tank” success story Rounderbum — a clever, downright cheeky, line of men’s shapewear that not only understands your pain, it knows how to define it. Or, more accurately, give it appearance-altering lifts and tucks.

Asked about the Rounderbum mission, CEO Jonathan Diersing said he co-founded the company to help those who “can’t gain muscle mass” back there and, as such, “have not butt — and their pants fall down.” Rounderbum’s booty-enhancing magic bullet gives your look something extra that no mere belt is capable of, and something else that comes from within: “Our mission is to enhance your body in the areas you desire most, helping you look and feel amazing before walking out the front door,” Diersing said, adding, “We are not only changing the way people look, we are changing the way people live.”

For the Nov. 24 event, they’re also changing their prices: For in-store purchases of $100 or more, Diersing noted, “We will be giving each customer one free underwear from our all-new sister underwear company, Rounderwear.” To check out those undies, visit rounderwear.com, where they are “#MUGA: Making Underwear Great Again!” Also in-store and online, Black Friday heralds the start of “the best sale we’ve ever had,” Diersing vowed, and “the most percentage off we’ve ever offered — up to 50 percent off and more.”

And those discounts arrive not a moment too soon, for those of us who might have given in to temptation at the Thanksgiving table — and the buffet tables to come, from now until the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Compression clothing is also part of the product line. “A popular one around this season,” Diersing said, “is a boxer brief with a waist slimmer band built into it. Let’s say you’re wearing a sweater. Sometimes the love handles stick out. This will smooth it all out for you. And the muscle shirt is good, because it has padding on the shirt, and keeps you warm. Our compression tops acts as a layer. It keeps your body heat inside, and firms up your belly — or whatever you might have, that you want to tighten up a little bit.”

Judging from the photos sent to us, the tastes of LGBT consumers are always on the mind, at Rounderbum. Diersing name-checked “authenticity and acceptance” as qualities the company admires most about its queer customers — and that this desirable demographic appreciates “all forms of expression and creativity… There is so much love in the community, and that love transcends within the very core of our company and values.”

But why West Hollywood? “With Beverly Hills being the cosmetic surgery capital of the world,” Diersing observed, “it only seemed natural for us to be here and offer an affordable alternative to body enhancement. Being in such an influential, iconic city constantly serves as a reminder of where we came from, and how much further we have to go. This city inspires us to want to make a real difference for all people — one booty at a time.”

Rounderbum is located at 802 N. San Vicente Blvd. Hours: Noon to 8:00 PM, daily. Call 424-278-1114 or visit rounderbum.com.

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GuadaLAjara film festival in Los Angeles

The GuadaLAjara Film Festival announces this year’s Arbol De La Vida Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Bamby Salcedo

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Bamby Salcedo co-founded the national [email protected] Coalition in 2009 (Photo Credit: [email protected] Coalition)

LOS ANGELES- The GuadaLAjara Film Festival in Los Angeles (GLAFF), which every year aims to showcase the best of Latinx/e, Latin America and BIPOC cinema as well as serve as a bridge that unifies and connects diverse stories and experiences with the intention of fostering a borderless film industry, announces the upcoming 12th Edition which will be taking place in Downtown Los Angeles from September 29th through October 1st, 2022. 

In line with GLAFF’s mission of building bridges between the two industries, the programming will include films by Latin American filmmakers that were showcased at their sister festival, the 37th Guadalajara International Film Festival held this past June in Guadalajara, Mexico and a special curated selection of films from Latinx/e and BIPOC filmmakers in the United States. 

This year the GuadaLAjara Film Festival continues with our mission of building bridges and strengthening the alliances already established between filmmakers and the entertainment industries in Mexico and the U.S through our work over the last 12 years. But GLAFF’s commitment to support Latino/x/e organizations that are making a difference in our community through activism and organizing is one of our most important achievements. We could not be more honored to have the opportunity to recognize trans civil rights activist Bamby Salcedo with the Arbol de la Vida Lifetime Humanitarian Award,” – said Ximena Urrutia, Executive Director of GLAFF. 

Some of this year’s highlights include the Mexican-American animation documentary Home is Somewhere Else, as the festival’s Centerpiece Film. Co-directed by Carlos Hagerman and Jorge Villalobos, the feature documentary provides a window into the hearts and minds of young Dreamers and undocumented immigrants in the United States. The story, told in the voice of their own protagonists comes to life with stunning imagery, each animated in its unique style. TRAILER HERE. GLAFF’s Closing Night film will be Omara, a documentary directed by Hugo Pérez, produced by Dana Kuznetzkoff and Frida Torresblanco. The film is a beautiful and intimate portrait of one of Cuba’s most adored national treasures and global musical icon Omara Portuondo. TRAILER HERE. 

GLAFF will continue with its Work In Progress (WIP) LATINO program through which the festival has been supporting Latin American Filmmakers for over 7 years. Within the framework of GLAFF’s 12th edition, WIP LATINO 7 will focus on supporting projects that focus on the topics of border, migration, human rights, social and political themes centered around the Latino and Latinx community. The WIP LATINO program provides in-kind and cash support to Latin American and BIPOC filmmakers, in the post-production stage.

This important initiative, which has supported projects that have gone on to have successful festival runs, is made possible by the University of Guadalajara Foundation USA and the festival’s sponsors. Their awards and support contribute to the achievement of the projects selected for WIP LATINO. For a list of this year’s selections CLICK HERE

The festival will also be hosting several curated industry masterclasses and a networking industry brunch. Further details on these events will be announced soon along with the announcement of the festival’s exciting Opening Night film.

This year the film festival will take place throughout several venues in Downtown Los Angeles, including The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Grand Park, Alamo Drafthouse and The Secret Movie Club. Tickets are available. For a full list of GLAFF’s programming, schedule and to purchase tickets please visit: www.glaff.org 

GLAFF’s popularity has continued to flourish because for the past three years it has also been recognized as the Festival with a Cause. Each year the festival chooses a social theme of importance to highlight as a topic of necessary conversation within the filmmaking and television industry. The social theme of this year’s festival is to highlight the needed changes and progress made for trans and non-binary representation both in front and behind the camera in the entertainment industry. Plus they have made a commitment to support local and national non-profit organizations that have dedicated their work for the betterment and change within the community as a whole. GLAFF donates all of their net box office proceeds to the selected non-profit organization each year. In keeping with their theme GLAFF has chosen [email protected] Coalition (TLC) as the organization to support during its 12th Edition. GLAFF has also officially announced that they will honor the organization’s co-founder, President and CEO, long time trans civil rights activist Bamby Salcedo with this year’s Arbol De LA Vida Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Bamby, who was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, is one of the most visible Latina Transgender Civil Rights Activists in both the United States and Mexico, giving a voice and fighting for the rights and justice of trans Latina and non-binary communities in both countries. Bamby co-founded the national [email protected] Coalition in 2009 alongside a group of Transgender, Gender nonconforming and Intersex (TGI) immigrant women in Los Angeles, CA as a grassroots response to address the specific needs of TGI [email protected] immigrants who live in the United States.

Dolores Huerta 

GLAFF is also thrilled to share that our most recognized and respected Latina activist, legendary civil rights leader Dolores Huerta will be honoring GLAFF with her presence to present Bamby with her award on Closing Night, Saturday, October 1st. 

GLAFF is also proud to announce that this year they have teamed up with Mexican artist and photographer Dorian Ulises Lopez Macias, who has designed the official poster of this year’s film festival’s 12th Edition.

GLAFF pays homage to the two cities that saw its inception and growth: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and Los Angeles, California, USA. GLAFF’s goal is to showcase the best of Latin American, Iberoamerican, Latinx and BIPOC cinema as well as open doors to emerging latino/x/e creators in order to promote a borderless cinematic industry. GLAFF is organized by the Universidad de Guadalajara and Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) through the University of Guadalajara Foundation USA, with the support of Legado Grodman. 

Tickets are now on sale for the International Film Festival which will take place in downtown Los Angeles Sept. 29th – Oct. 1st

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Pansexual Visibility Day 2022 is May 24

Days like Pansexuality Visibility Day are perfect for educating people about the various ways people experience sexual & romantic attraction

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Graphic via Project MORE

NEW YORK – The Trevor Project is honoring Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness and Visibility Day on May 24, noting that it is a day to celebrate the pansexual and panromantic community and educate others on the community.

As part of creating awareness for the pansexual community, The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, captured important data related to the experiences of pansexual youth, who made up 20% of the survey sample.

2022 National Survey Data on Pansexual Youth

  • 53% of pansexual youth reported that they seriously considered suicide and 21% reported they attempted suicide in the past year.
  • 66% of pansexual youth reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and 79% reported experiencing symptoms of depression.
  • 36% of pansexual youth reported that they have been physically threatened or harmed due to their sexual orientation.
  • 69% of pansexual youth reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

The Project MORE Foundation, a leading nonprofit service and support provider to the Northern California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ+) and Ally community explains what it means to be Pansexual:

One common misconception that even members of the LGBTQ+ community have is that pansexuality and bisexuality are the same. Bisexuality can loosely be defined as attraction to more than one gender, but many define it with the more narrow definition of attraction to both genders, i.e,: men and women.

Pansexuality differs in that it includes sexual attraction inclusive of ALL gender identities, which means that people can also be drawn to those who are gender fluid or genderqueer. It is similar for people who are panromantic. When a person identifies as panromantic, it means that they can feel romantically towards anyone of any gender identity. 

When people come out as pansexual, headlines often emphasize that it’s different than being bi, and while that’s true, somebody who is bi may also identify as pan and vice versa. The bisexuality umbrella term includes those who feel attracted to two or more gender identities. Pansexuality refers to people who feel sexual attraction to any gender identity, but because their preference includes two or more genders, they could also consider themself bi. Being pan doesn’t mean that a person is going to be attracted towards everyone, but simply that gender identity doesn’t play a role in that attraction. 

There are many people who identify as pansexual or panromantic, such as Jazz Jennings, the famous 20-something LGBTQ+ rights advocate who came out as trans as a child. Authors Dana Mele and Caitlin Ricci identify as panromantic. Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monáe, and Brendon Urie are also among famous celebrities who identify as pansexual. 

It is quite common that people who are pansexual go on a journey of self-discovery to figure out their true sexuality. Some, like Bella Thorne, initially identified as bisexual, but then grew to realize that gender plays little to no role in their attraction, so her definition of her sexuality changed to reflect that. 

Miley Cyrus, who came out in 2015 as pansexual, is among one of those who went down the path to self-discovery when it came to her sexuality. In an interview with Variety, she said that an interaction with a non-binary individual helped her understand that she felt attraction towards them regardless of how they expressed their gender. In that moment, she didn’t feel gay, straight, or bi, because she wasn’t.

Because definitions can be held loosely, one of the most important takeaways is that how a person identifies their sexual or romantic attraction can differ from one day to the next, but celebrating and respecting a person for who they are is what matters most. Days like Pansexuality and Panromantic Visibility Day are perfect for educating people about the various ways people experience sexual and romantic attraction.

About the 2022 National Survey

This survey is one of the largest and only surveys of its kind, representing the experiences of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ young people ages 13-24 across the U.S. It’s also one of the most diverse surveys of LGBTQ youth ever conducted – with 45% of respondents being youth of color and 48% being trans or nonbinary.

Lastly, The Trevor Project has a guide, “How to Support Bisexual Youth: Ways to Care for Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid, and Queer Youth Who are Attracted to More than One Gender” that offers best practices for those looking to support the youth who are attracted to more than one gender in their lives.

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The universe comes out to jazz and violins and you’re invited

LA prides itself as home of the stars. Don’t limit yourself to the mere mortal stars of Hollywood, when the universe is opening its doors

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Past Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome (2018) Photo credit: Irina Logra

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Starlight, starbright: Bathing yourself in the magnificent skies has returned to Los Angeles as the historic Mount Wilson Observatory announces… shall we say it… a heavenly lineup for its 2022 program.

The program offers something for everybody: From the universe-fascinated who want to observe and soak up astronomical knowledge to the bright light and musically discerning who are there just for the mind-blowing beauty alone. 

Since its founding in 1904 by astronomer and visionary George Ellery Hale, Mount Wilson Observatory has played host to some of the most important discoveries in modern astronomy. Located on Mount Wilson, a 5710-foot (1740-meter) peak in the San Gabriel Mountains of the Angeles National Forest, Mount Wilson Observatory (MWO) features the Snow Solar Telescope (largest in the world from 1905-1908 and the mountain’s first installation), a 60-inch telescope (the world’s largest operational telescope from 1908-1917), and the 100-inch Hooker telescope (which featured the world’s largest aperture from 1917-1949). Mount Wilson Institute has independently operated and maintained the Mount Wilson Observatory since 1989 under a long-term agreement with the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The observatory offers a series of tours throughout the season for the scientific tourist in you. For the mechanically inclined, you can take an engineering tour of the huge telescopes and understand how they have enabled historic discoveries. For the stargazers, there are public and private tours to actually use the telescopes and peep in on our nearest planetary and constellation neighbors. For the gazers who want to keep things even closer to home, take a look right into our own Sun with the Lunt Telescope.

There is no better way to observe the universe than to do it wrapped in gorgeous music. The observatory steps up and takes advantage of the dome’s sensational acoustics by presenting Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome. Top jazz, violinist, brass talents and more will perform in events at 3:00pm and 5:00pm May 22- October 21. The season aesthetics are capped off with [email protected] Observatory in the later summer months which explores sound art in the dome, plein-air painting and sculpting.

It would be a shame to visit the observatory for its visual and auditory sensual offerings alone, however. For those who want to deepen their mind, the season also offers an incredible roster for the astronomy intellect. Lectures from the top experts include discoveries of the deep space mission, women scientists at the observatory, the work of George Ellery Hale, and more.

The gates to Mount Wilson’s acreage opens at 10:00am every day and close at 5:30. Visitors can hike the grounds, gaze at the telescope domes that dot the landscape, and browse through the Historic Museum in the Lecture Hall.  Members from the Los Angeles Astronomical Society will gather around the grounds during each of the events during the season and set up specialty telescopes for a view of various night sky objects while attendees await their turn to look through the grand telescopes in the domes.

Los Angeles prides itself as home of the stars. Don’t limit yourself to the mere mortal stars of Hollywood, when the universe is opening its doors to experience stellar wonders that will really blow your heart and your mind. We hope to see you at the observatory to experience magnificence together.

For more information:  

Concerts: https://www.mtwilson.edu/concerts 

Engineering Tours: www.mtwilson.edu/engineering-tour

Public Ticket Nights:  mtwilson.edu/public-ticket-nights

Private Telescope Reservations: mtwilson.edu/observe

Solar Viewing: mtwilson.edu/solar-observing

Tours: mtwilson.edu/weekend-docent-tours

Mt. Wilson Observatory: https://www.mtwilson.edu 

MWO Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WilsonObs 

MWO Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mtwilsonobs MWO Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mtwilsonobservatory

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